Saudi Arabia considers itself the custodian of Islam as it is home to the most holy shrines in Islam at Mecca and Medina. In the bargain Saudia Arabia follows the unadulterated version of Islamic law as laid down in the Sharia. One of the punishments specified in the Sharia is death by beheading. This involves carrying out an execution by cutting the head of the individual. It is considered a barbaric form of death, but at one time it was prevelent allover the civilized world. It was a form of death very much in vogue in Europe till the 19 century.But after that period this form of execution was stopped. It however carried on in the east, with the Japanese being its biggest supporters. There are umpteen cases of beheadings by Japanese army during world war II. However at the end of the war the execution by beheadings has stopped all over the world, except in some Islamic countries, with Saudi Arabia being the leader. On an average almost 300 beheadings are carried every year in Saudi Arabia. Human rights activists have been protesting, but to no avail. The beheadings are carried out in public and witnessed by the populace at large. The beheadings are publicised and the accused made to kneel before the crowd and made to face Mecca. The executioner then positions himself behind the poor man who is kneeling with his hands tied behind his back. The executioner then swings his sword so as to sever the head from the torso. The fact that it is carried out in public makes the act more despicable. The USA is the ally of Saudi Arabia and one wonders how this nation is steeped in obscurantism is the ally of the USA.